Sri Lanka insurance sector too should be given a fair playing field by the government and should not be over taxed, said Chairman, Insurance Association of Sri Lanka, (IASL) Deepthi Lokuarachchi.
Speaking at the launch of National Insurance Day at Independence Arcade last Friday he said they are made to understand that there is going to be a huge tax burden to be imposed by the government. “Policy holders are to be taxed heavily. This is defiantly more than what the banking industry is currently paying and we appeal to authorities to re think this move.”
He said that though the mobile penetration is very aggressive in Sri Lanka where on average every citizen has two phones the insurance penetration is very low at around 2.5%. “This gives and opening for insurance companies to look at an untapped market of around 97% and they should be more aggressive to woo more policy holders. The aim should be to insure the youngest to the oldest person.”
Lokuarachchi said that the non motor segment should be strongly looked at by insurance companies and areas such as health, households, house and property, aging population should be targeted more. Naming of an insurance day annually on September 1, would help towards the increasing the penetration and IASL Chairman thanked the government for that.
There were over 1.5 million letters delivered every day and he said they felt that the stamp would create some awareness among public. “With these initiatives we hope to have a 50% insurance penetration in 10 years’ time.”
However the proposed high tax’ would discourage companies as profit margins would drop. He also disclosed that the net assets of the industry is around Rs. 500 billion.
Meanwhile Chairperson Insurance Board of Sri Lanka Indrani Sugathadasa also pointed out that most of the insurance policy holders are in the Western and Southern provinces and other areas too should be pursued.
She also said that the industry too should look at ways and means to be more profitable.A first day cover too was launched on September 1 to mark the annual Insurance Day.
Sources : dailynews